Laurence Harrison, Market Development Director at Digital Radio UK.
In the UK we have just announced a record number of new cars being sold with DAB as standard of 92.4% in Q2 2018. This is up from 38% five years ago and means that 2.2 million new cars came onto the road with DAB in the last 12 months alone.
We are still focused on achieving 100% of new cars fitted with DAB as standard – and there’s still 100,000 analogue cars going on to UK roads – but it’s fantastic progress and has meant that in-car digital listening is now one of the largest drivers of overall digital listening growth. The support from car manufacturers has been brilliant and you’d be forgiven for thinking that this is almost “job done”. Far from it.
As more people use DAB we are getting more feedback about how the experience could be improved. At the same time, in-car technology is evolving quickly as a result of increased connectivity and the introduction of voice, meaning the radio industry needs to work even harder to make sure the user experience is great and that radio retains a strong position on the dashboard.
We firmly believe the answer is hybrid radio – DAB and IP working together alongside voice. Making this vision a reality will only happen through strong collaboration between broadcasters and car manufacturers and there’s no doubt that the launch of the WorldDAB In-car User Experience guidelines earlier this year has helped foster strong relationships with car manufacturers.
In a survey this month of automotive industry contacts, 80% said that the UX guidelines will have an impact on future UX design. We also recently completed some joint consumer research with Radioplayer on radio and voice in the car, which we will be sharing soon with WorldDAB and our car manufacturer partners.
Our initiatives to collaborate and engage with the automotive industry are on-going and one key channel is via our Drive to Digital conference. Its an annual event, free of charge to attend, run by Digital Radio UK and sponsored by Arqiva, which this year is taking place on 25 September at the British Museum in London. The conference has always had a focus on cars and this year will be no different.
More information on Drive to Digital, including how to register, can be found here.